Windows Home Server 2011 is ready for you.  Are *you* ready for Windows Home Server 2011?

Like many Windows Home Server users in the world, I have been torn between staying with the Drive Extender version of WHS v1 or upgrading to WHS 2011.  Perhaps upgrading is a bit of a misnomer, as it is a completely new installation of the OS and a migration of all the data from a WHS version 1 machine to a WHS 2011 machine.

Regarding the OS installation, I always prefer a new OS installation vs. an OS upgrade, so that would be a no-brainer to me.

Regarding the migration of data, I opened the console on my 6 TB WHS v1 machine and took a real look at the size of just the Shared Folders.  The actual unduplicated size amounted to around 2.5 TBs of information.  The question that comes from this look is how long will it take to copy over 2.5 TBs of data over a network connection?

Oh yes, I almost forgot!  Let us not forget starting a new set of client backups.  I have only 5 clients to backup.  I suppose you could say 6, but I do not back up my HTPC as it contains no data.  That is what the Windows Home *Server* is for.

So, To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade.  That is the question.  And here is the answer:



  1. I'd be interested to see how you handle the "lack of duplicated folders" that you had on WHSv1. Sticking with server backups internally within WHS2011 or having to run your own way of duplicating data (Synctoy, mirror folder etc).

    1. I'm really leaning toward duplicating between the 2 WHS machines. My goal this week is to come up with *a* method. I may succeed or I may not. This chapter has simply not been written yet. Trying to use the internal WHS 2011 method seems, well, overly complicated and high maintenance.

      We shall see.

      1. I suspect a mix of server backup and SyncToy for myself. I also have some stuff on carbonite as well from the WHSv1 – but unlike you I've only got one rig…

    2. I am running RAID 5 with 4 x 2TB drives and a hot spare for data. This provides excellent redundancy and good performance. Doing a simple mirror/folder duplication is just not cost effective and drive efficient.

  2. I signed up for Carbonite backup and never looked back. All irreplaceable data, like photos and family videos are backed up to the cloud quite nicely.

    1. I'm not criticizing anyone using Carbonite. My only concern is the stability of companies doing business on the web. In the ancient past companies had a bad habit of seeing their model die suddenly with a brief notice to get you info off their servers before the lights were turned out. I hope this does not happen, but again, I'll wait a long time to see if this company or any like it maintain a good track record (whining now suspended).

    2. I am curious as I have read about cloud based data backup solutions. Is Carbonite typical of most cloud data storage providers?

      I took a quick look at the Carbonite website, but have a few concerns. From their description, it is not clear how it would work with WHS (specifically mentions internal desktop hard drives), also large volumes of data (I currenlty have over 1.5 TB of home videos/photos and add around 40 GB per month). Their documentation says transfers "slow down noticeably" after uploading 200 GB – not clear what that means. It does seem cost effective as they offer unlimited data storage, so supposedly, one could store TB's of data (although, my phone data plan is "unlimited" too – ya right). Another concern is upload/download times (I believe my broadband Internet caps upload speeds – 400 Kbps? if my quick calculations are correct, would take 9 days or so each month to upload 40 GB and 360 days to upload the initial 1.5 TB ) Hmmm…. . Lastly, while they say they do file level encryption before uploading, they don't say that the customer has exclusive access to the encryption key (which means that Carbonite could decrypt your data while on their servers).

    3. Actually you are incorrect. Carbonite exempts common video files from their backups based on file extension. So only your family pictures are backed up not your family videos.

  3. How did you transfer your shares from V1 server to 2011?
    Did you use your desktop computer to access the shares on V1?
    You must have had two WHS connectors running at once??
    or am I missing something

    1. I used a Remote Desktop Connection from my desktop to WHS 2011, opened 2 instances of Windows Explorer and used a lot Ctrl-Cs and Ctrl-Vs to copy from one machine to the other. With the same profile (mine) on each machine, it was as easy as pie to do. Just very time consuming.

      1. A little hint: download and install Teracopy – I found it much better then windows own copy tool.. And its not using cache 😉

  4. Seems every site is now becoming an MS cheer leader for this product, maybe the next version they will fully implement apple support and rip out backups, sheez. Any person with knowledge such as an MVP or technet subscriber would call a spade a spade and not even call this a home server, it is not in the same spirit as v1 at all, by far the 2 big request… improved DE or media center integration were both side tracked. I am now only seeing cheerleading for this product which is pathetic considering many writing these posts are technet subscribers who have access to a full 2008 R2 which includes media services and is much more open to install and do whatever you want to on it, there are so many web addons on IIS web pakages that you cannot count the functionality that could be added there and any of these people would be lying if they said they could not back up their network PC's in some other way.

    1. I am sorry you are disappointed, but I do hope I do not sound like a cheer leader. The removal of DE was sudden and the "replacement" was not well thought out IMO. With the exception of DE (which is a BIG exception), WHS 2011 is still an improvement over WHS v1. DE removal sucks, but I really hope that at least one of the 3rd party DE replacements will provide a decent local data redundancy/duplication feature. In the meantime, I am going to determine *a* method to sync 2 generations of WHS.

      If you are really upset about WMC integration, I did write up a whole series of running Win 7 in a VM inside WHS. I have absolutely no idea how much Server 2008 R2 costs, but it has got to be several times more than WHS and Win 7 together. And require one heck of a lot more maintenance.

      1. For home server use R2 would require no more maintenance than a V2 box, you can just do more (which somewhat depends on what MS limits to install on V2 and whether V2 has a full IIS 7 implementation. As to running W7 on V2, I see no reason to at all, unless you are really in love with the PC backups, I do not see why one would not forgo v2 and just pick up W7 pro which has IIS 7 /RDP and use that, storage would be nearly the same and you could install media services or some other web app to stream to your hearts content. I seriously think that if the DE add on which will run on any windows version proves stable V2 will be in big trouble, why run 2 boxes when you can run 1…

        As to cheer leading this is how things go intended or not, the new product has to be hyped or there would be nothing to write about, but it is not pretty.

        1. Wow, talex just never gives up the crying. If anyone ever says anything about v2 it is cheer leading. If you don't like it then don't buy it. It's really that simple. Just because there are those that want to use it does not make them all cheer leaders. If you really have something to add to the conversation why don't you start your own site and then you can bitch all you want. Otherwise STFU! SHEEZ!!!

        2. I switched and am digging the new version. Frankly, I never felt comfortable with DE and the crazy way it stored my stuff. I prefer the standard filesystem layout. Also, I don't have terabytes of data either, I am sitting at about 600gb of data right now. When I switched to 2011 I put in 2x 2TB advanced format drives and that will meet my needs for the foreseeable future. The killer feature of WHS for me is the backups. That's the main reason I started using it. The enhanced backup of the server is icing on the cake to me.

  5. MS gutted WHS, this is r2 with a pathetic add on and little value on it's own especially for technet or MSDN subscribers, this is why I say the cheer leading has fully begun.

    I would not have near as large of a problem if this was called something else such as Windows SOHO server, but as a "home server" in the spirit of V1… it stinks and is a downgrade for many who now have to roll up thier sleeves and plan the whole thing out and then maintain all the storage and move stuff around, again no thanks. I might just have to stop reading all the sites that post on WHS at all now, it sickens me.

    1. I really cannot disagree with you, as it really is a step backward in "ease of use". Perhaps if more people had actually purchased WHS (I did), MS might have been a bit more inclined to focus on the H in the HSBS group.

      Even though I feel a lot like you, it really is time to move past the negatives and focus on the positives. It took me quite some time to look past the removal of DE, but once one can do so, WHS 2011 has a lot going for it.

      Or… WHS 2011 may find itself classified with some of the other great MS OSs like Window ME and Vista! 😉 Time will tell, and if history proves correct, WHS v3 will be absolutely awesome.

    2. Seriously Talex, you need to listen to yourself…last time I checked, very few were happy about DE removal, but it happened so now you need to DEAL WITH IT.
      Continual moaning is not going to change anything, so effort is now best spent on figuring how to cope now, rather than just ranting.
      Stick with v1, whatever.

    3. Hey Talex

      I usually enjoy the comments you make on the site, but you're way off here. I absolutely respect your decision to upgrade or not, but we've been clear throughout on our opinions regarding WHS v2 – I even spent a week pulling together a post clearly highlighting its strengths and weaknesses vs v1, so allow readers to help an objective decision for themselves.

      Writing an upgrade guide – a topic that's going to be on the minds of many of our readers – does not constitute "cheerleading". I get you have a problem with Microsoft, and it's one that I and many others share, but I'd be really grateful if you didn't troll on well-intentioned posts like this.

      With regard to your point on Windows Server 2008 R2, we don't want to get into role configuration, IIS configuration and so on – you may well be right, but it's outside WGS' scope. Alternatively, feel free to pull together a guide for us and we'll publish it.


      1. Good one, Terry! He can call it The Continuous Complainers Guide To NOT USING WHS 2011! I’m sure it will be very popular.

      2. Terry,
        Comment was not intended to knock the author or WGS, just how in some posts now v2 is getting a pretty painting when just a month or so ago it was nothing more than slapping lipstick on a pig. I will not apologize to the others for having my own opinion, but will to you and author if you were offended.

        As for writing a using 2008 R2 as a home server, it's pretty much the same as v2 except as with previous MS Servers you can install more or they come with more out of the box than V2 does, storage will be the same and there are a plethra of write ups on using MS disk management to setup softraid which is about identical to what it was in Server 2000, XP etc… so there is nothing really to write about there.

        Given the replys I think it is best I just watch for a v3 and let all the v2 people be happy with their shiny new toy since they seem to not want opinions other than positive ones.

  6. One suggestion, you could use Second Copy, SyncBackSE or similars to synchronize the shared folders of WHS2011 whit the folders of WHSv1​​, and configure profiles to keep a simple copy or to keep everything syncronized.
    And if you syncronize everything in case of a failure os WHS2011 you cam use WHSv1 as a instantily backup Server.
    Congratulations for your great post.

    1. Yep, there are those and few more out there to check out. If it can be done cheap (free?) and can be automated, that is what I am looking for.

  7. I have 2 HP X510's, 1 running WHS V1 and the other V2. I developed a script when both x510's were V1 boxes; the script is run as a scheduled task then wakes up the second computer then uses robocopy on the command line to mirror the folders then shuts down the other computer. I use an smtp email utility to send me emails of the progress and results.

    I upgraded the second x510 to WHS2011 last night so I need to test my script again to see if it works on V2/Vail, fingers crossed! If it does then I will use the x510 running V2/Vail as my primary machine then use the other x510 running V1 as my backup which will have mirrored copies of all the folders on my main V2 box.

    1. Hey Warwick, I think I saw your script in the forums perhaps? As Robocopy is free, and your script could be used by most anyone, is automated, *and* can wake up and put back to sleep the WHS v1 server, I am all ears!

    2. I use a batch file similar to this on my XP machine at work and it works great! From what I have read, since I don't have a machine to test it on, it sounds like WHS V2 treats each drive as a separate drive letter in the OS. I am guessing that WHS V2 would recognize the robocopy command, and if I remember right, XP didn't, which is why I had to use the xcopy command. Setting it up as a scheduled task to copy from one drive to another works flawlessly from one drive to another!

    3. I have one x510 and find the software to be slow, so I picked up an OEM WHS 2011, tried loading it on a usb but it wouldn't let me upgrade and hints?

  8. Good article Jim, although, I would like to see more about how to protect data using Microsoft defined methods for the WHS 2011 _HOME_ server. Most articles seem to just skirt the topic of clearly defined storage management for a typical home environment, by not talking about it at all, asking their readers "what they think", or by talking about some "future" magical software that somehow provides DE like functionality. What do we have -today- using what is provided with WHS 2011?

    Also note, any reasonable data protection solution must mirror active data on at least 2 separate drives, with a third drive for external backup. For example, WHSv1 stores data on 2 internal drives (via duplication), with backups to external drives providing 3 drives total. For WHS 2011, it looks like the minimum would be a RAID1 solution for duplication onto 2 internal drives, with external backup – third drive).

    1. That is an excellent suggestion and you are correct that I should at least go thru the process as defined by MS in WHS 2011.

      I just hope I have a drive left to do it with! 🙂

      1. It is frustrating to see WHS 2011 take a step backwards wrt data storage. Without a well thought out data storage solution built into WHS 2011, the WHS 2011 product just seems "half baked".

        I would expect the "figure it out" (aka OEM or third-party additional cost/complexity) data storage mentality for a _business_ product. I have setup several SBS computers for friends small businesses, and have used a variety of enterprise class data storage solutions tailored to each deployment. I just wouldn't expect to have to be doing this with a _HOME_ product.

  9. The big question is: without drive pooling, what is the best way with WHS 2011 to manage what will likely become multiple RAID1 pairs in the most efficient manner without "wasting" a lot of storage across multiple, partly used, drive partitions? Can data be easily and automatically spanned across RAID1 pairs?

    As a typical example for a WHS 2011 _HOME_ scenario:
    Home shares for 4 users (1+ TB): 2 x 1.5 TB (RAID1 duplication)
    Video share for home videos (2+ TB): 2 x 2 TB (RAID1 duplication)
    Photos, Music, Public (1+ TB): 2 x 1.5 TB (RAID1 duplication)
    Desktop backup (2+ TB) : 2 TB (no duplication)
    Movies, Recorded TV, etc (1 TB): 1 TB (no duplication)

    Will WHS 2011 allow creation of these RAID1 pairs in software (somewhat equivalent to DE duplication)? I would expect so, but haven't seen anything which discusses this in particular.

    1. Hi Marty,

      There are no integrated RAID tools built into the Windows Home Server Dashboard per se, but you can configure RAID arrays using Windows Server 2008 R2s standard drive management controls using a Remote Desktop Connection.

      I doubt very much whether we'll be discussing RAID for WHS here on the main site, as it's not a great consumer technology, and (honestly) is pretty dull to write about (and probably, for many, to read about) – that said, there's plenty of discussion over on the forums, so jump on in. It may well be covered in more depth in more technical sites than ours.

      With regard to the "magic" DE replacements – the reason we've not discussed them in depth is that they're simply not baked yet. It's a chapter of the WHS 2011 story that is still evolving – watch this space.


      1. For a _HOME_ product, I would only use RAID1 (disk mirror) for automatic data duplication. Other forms of RAID are just not practical and way too complex for home users. If/when the WHS 2011 computer has problems, a home user needs to be able to pull out any drive from the WHS system and be able to plug that drive into a normal desktop computer to read the files. This can be done today with WHSv1 and would be possible with WHS 2011 with RAID1 drives.

        Too bad about the WHS 2011 built in tools, it seems that MS could have pretty easily created a simple front end for creating RAID1 (disk mirrors) from within the WHS 2011 console.

  10. What happens when storage requirements for each group exceeds the drive size or 2TB? And don't say get 3TB drives since they are still 2x+ the cost of 2TB drives – so not a reasonable solution – today. I suppose one could split up some groups like users, but what about video? If split up, how do the users still see all the video in one logical location (like in WHSv1)?

    What happens when the WHS 2011 desktop client backups exceed 2TB, can these be spanned across multiple drives? My current WHSv1 is close to 2TB of client desktop backups and I expect it will exceed 2 TB shortly – not a problem in WHSv1, but not clear what happens in WHS 2011.

    1. If you fill up a drive, you'll need to move files across to another drive with free space, and yes, that does mean you may well need Video1, Video2, Video3 at this point – that may be fixed by one of the forthcoming storage-pool add-ins, but we'll need to see how robust they are when released.

      I'm surprised by how large your backup database is, and to be honest, I have no idea what happens in this case. My hunch is that you'll have to lose some of the older backups, without a storage pool add-in available, or a RAID array.

      1. I thought my backup database was actually rather typical for a family of 4. There are 4 desktop computers, a laptop, and HTPC. As far as desktop storage goes, one desktop has 1.5 TB (mostly active video editing projects), one has 300 GB (general purpose kitchen), 2 have 500 GB each (kids gaming computers, likely to be upgraded soon to 1 TB drives), a general use laptop computer (300 GB), and HTPC (2 TB – only OS is backed up). So that is a total capacity of around 3 TB (likely moving to around 4 TB ) of desktop storage, with around 2 TB currently getting backed up to the WHSv1.

        So, while WHSv1 wouldn't have any problems performing desktop backups in this (ever growing) home environment, I have yet to read anything positive regarding WHS 2011, so unfortunately, it would seem that WHS 2011 may "fall on its face" performing desktop backups.

  11. Rather than copying across a network, I'm planning on moving drives from V1 to V2 one at a time, and simply copying the files off them. What's the drawback to that?

    1. I am looking for an automated hands-off syncing. There are so many backup solutions out there that would not require the use of physically moving drives. I gotta believe one will work the way *I* want it. Of course, what I am looking for may be different than what someone else is looking for.

    2. It doesn't work has been my experience trying to do it this way. I tried it this past weekend and while the drive showed up and I could "see" the data was present on the drive in the amount of used/free space showing up in My Computer I could not see or read any of the files to move them. I would open the drive and no files could be seen or viewed.

      I don't know if something changed in RTM from Beta because on my first install of the Beta I could and did do this. Since trying to do it again with the RC it has never worked for me.


    3. Copying files from a DE volume will most times not work for you. If you have say 4 drives in the pool the files may be only on one drive or split up on several. Pulling out one drive may or may not have the files you want or any whole files at all. Gotta love DE…

      While it may be a pain, taking each drive out of the pool (if you have the room available) and then using that drive to hold some of your data is often the best way to go and much faster than an over-network transfer. I have a few older spare drives that I used for this, and it just takes time but works.

  12. Apart from the stuttering driving me nuts, another factor in my decision to upgrade was that restore could now use 64-bit drivers! So much easier to make sure you have the correct drivers.

    As I have 2 oldish Intel boxes (a dual core Celeron, the other a Core™2 Duo ) currently WHS V2 test box and the other my WHS V1 machine, it's not going to "cost" much more to use 2 boxes to replace my WHS version 1.

    At the moment my current plan is to use one machine as a media server. The 2nd box does the backups including the media server using a script written by some kind gentleman on this website.

    Putting each box at opposite ends of the house gives 100% against PC hardware failure, and if the Fire Brigade can get there in time, maybe even against the house burning down.

    I can't see any other way of making it simple,but still provide one-to-one backup. Mind you a twin tuner card in the media server would supplement the twin tuner card in the media PC nicely. And I do need a server that will run continuously as a recorder for the IP security cameras.
    Allan H

  13. I have upgraded a EX485 to WHS2011. The system is definitely more responsive than the original WHS it replaced. Getting rid of DE overhead is a good thing. How to execute the upgrade? Buy 2 2TB Phantom external drives to hold the contents of the server while I replace the old drives with new green 3TB models. Connect the Phantom's via e-sata and transfers are fast for temporarily holding the content. The Phantoms will probably end up as the WHS2011 backup destination for the most critical live data. It is nice to keep the 4th EX485 slot free for plugging in drives…..

  14. As I have more than one WHS (One with a Friend, one with my Parents, one with me), I consider setting up Live Sync between the three of them for the duplication.

    For the data I want secured, but not accessible by the others, I will use Crashplan to back them up to their systems. I can really support Crashplan in that scenario, as it doesn't only allow backing up into the Cloud, but backing up to a friend, too.

    That'll be my scenario for WHS2, I guess..

  15. I tested on my WHS 2011 RC to backup to the WHS v.1 machine with Crashplan – worked very well.
    I agree with davepermen and will use Crashplan to backup locally and between friends. It's free, only cloud backup is with a cost.

    1. we should make a crashplan home server meetup, so we can backup worldwide between everyone 🙂 (one friend of mine has crashplan installed in england, i'm in switzerland. this is only for the important files, of course.. but if something goes completely crazy, that's as secured as it gets)

    2. I can vouch for Crashplan as well. I'm actually using that on my WHSv1 install for backing up shares to a local drive and skipping the built in tools all together. I'm also backing up to a computer off-site as well.

      The thing I like is that you specify what you want to backup and then give it multiple destinations without having to reconfigure it again.

      I like it because I can just once piece of software for local and offsite backups. If I need storage in the cloud I can go with their offering for that too without having to rethink everything.

  16. I'm enjoying reading the various perspectives on the migration from WHS v1 to WHS 2011. It seems that either nobody has more than a few terabytes of previously existing data or is starting from scratch. The migration for larger home servers that are primarily used as repositories for music & video libraries either haven't yet been migrated, or the experience has left the individual so traumatized that they dare not speak of it.

    Like it or not, at some point we'll have to have an adult conversation about RAID and not just the basic RAID 1. As people with 10, 20, 30TB and beyond start looking at the migration to WHS 2011, it quickly becomes obvious that using single or mirrored drives will become unwieldy, at best, or completely unworkable.

    It should be an interesting few months ahead of us.

    1. With 10TB+ of data in storage, maybe your'e not Joe Average WHS user anymore. I'd guess MS never considered a HOME server to store that much (I know people do).
      If you have these storage needs at home, could something else be more suitable, like the SBS 2011 Storage Essentials (or what it's called)?

    2. I agree with GaPony, as I have 8TB of Photos, Music and Video and am looking for more. I want to upgrade to stay current but me moving things around when a drive gets full is not what I am looking forward to.

  17. I can't get the server backup service to work worth a hoot. Go see my thread in the WHS 2011 backup forum…

  18. After dealing with various foibles of WHS data backup, I've decided that my personal stuff (financial records, photos, etc) will be backed up in the cloud (probably using SkyDrive via Live Mesh or something) while my music and sizable movie collection will go onto the WHS and be duplicated.

    I haven't seen anything about MS natively supporting with SkyDrive. I know they've only recently started pushing Live and SkyDrive as part of their new WP7 push and I there are several limitations to SkyDrive itself, but I would like to see some kind interoperability between WHS 2011 and SkyDrive.

  19. I see no need for this application (WHS 2011) within the Microsoft line-up. WHS v1 is a true HOME server that the typical home user can use and benefit greatly from. Microsoft has, for all practical purposes, taken WHS 2011 out of the HOME USER category. It is now, by and large, a toy for the advanced user. The HOME USER has been abandoned. There was/is considerable room for improvement in v1 such as more automatic file saving and file syncronization between each client computer and WHS, but these issues have not even been addressed in v2011. SBS Essentials 2011 exists (I believe that is the name assigned to what was Aurora during beta) that the advanced user can uitilize to perform tasks beyond the capability of WHS. I, for one, see no need to wrestle with the additional complications and overhead of 64/32 bit interactions and no benefit in WHS 2011 to make it worth the additional frustrations and learning curve as compared with WHS v1.

    That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

  20. I had to leave my WHS v1 going with two machines on it that were pretty data heavy: 2.75 tb of data. There wasn't enough storage with four 1.5 tb drives to hold everything but those client backups from two machines. So, I rebuilt the WHS V1 with 3.5 tb of space and backup those two machines. That leaves me with two open PC connections now on the WHS 2011.

    I though I read somewhere that you could join two drives together in the diskmgmt.msc app. I'm thinking that I could get a SATA card, some drive caddies and put the drives from the WHS v1 into the WHS 2011 if I could join them together and use that for client backups.

    Only PITA is that I can only use one server for remote access.

  21. Have a chap here who has upgraded, having to think about how to manually duplicate his folders with various tools – this to me is the biggest fail that has come out of WHS2011 – that fact that a "home user" has to think of stuff like this.

    The server backups only work to one drive – regardless of how many you have set up.

  22. You might want to consider using robocopy for the file migration, built into 2008 and 7 and can be added to 2003, would easily copy over your data and if it missing something you can get a log. Also if it stops you can restart it and it will skip over what has already been successfully copied over

  23. For WHS 2011 backup i simply use the server backup built into WHS and backup to an external 2TB USB drive for local duplication, and for offsite backup, i use Folderclone on one of my client desktops to duplicate the server shared folders twice a day to the that client desktop, and carbonite backs the cloned folders up. I use my server for home stuff as well as my consutling business, so it is critical for a solid backup.
    It is working really very nicely.

    Have a nice day.

  24. Jim DE was basically a form of (no brain required) raid 1. So when you say don't suggest raid I feel your limiting your options to even less than what you had in WHS v1

    Here is another form of "no brain required" raid 1

    These days you can get 750 GB laptop drives that will fit into this device. Set it to raid 1 and just pop it in, WHS 2011 will just think its one drive.

    I appreciate its not for everyone as it will cost a little bit of money and its definitely not for people with 20 – 30 TB of storage used in WHS v1

    But for most of us with a couple of TB of data its a good easy brainless solution.

    It will also use less power and generate less heat and noise because of the smaller form factor hard drives.

    1. Sounds like it could be a cool solution for many users. Icy Dock makes some very nice modules and that is one very slick product you linked.

      Regarding RAID, perhaps I should be more explicit: no RAID 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 etc. I *am* interested in DE replacements and perhaps in some of the hybrid RAID solutions. There were 2 features in DE that I really do miss, which were "any ol' drive" and "selective duplication". Traditional RAID has neither that I am aware of and hybrid RAID has something along the lines of "any ol' drive" only. The problem with hybrid RAID is that they are mostly Linux solutions and (as I understand it) most definitely less user friendly than any tradional RAID.

      Altho I do suppose one could do "selective duplicatation" using those Icy Dock modules. Interesting….

  25. I will be sticking the same option I used to protect my data in WHS V1. I currently use Second Copy to backup the data to 2 external drives attached to the server and also to my desktop.

    I tested this when I had the beta installed. Worked exactly as I thought it would and never ran into an issue. It can also be setup to send email notifications on either success or failures. It may not be ther perfect solution, but for me it is set-it-and-forget-it.

    Now if I only had a technet or MSDN subscription……..

  26. Nice post as always. While I'm not too fused about the lose of DE its the lack of ability to migrate the data that will hold me back from upgrading. As you've outlined moving the shared folder contents is easy enough I'm worried about losing my backups.

    I recently upgraded my laptop to Windows 7 from Vista and knowing my luck it'll take me 6 months to notice I've got a file missing and need to get it from my old backup… If I upgrade to WHS 2011 and don't have access to the backups from my WHS 1 box then I'll be stuck.

    Keeping the old WHS 1 box just in case I need the backups seems like the only option

    1. You could always open the WHS v1 backup, zip up the User folders (and any other random data folders) and save just that portion for a rainy day.

      You should not have to zip up a complete HD, just folders that might contain data.

      In my case, I am keeping the WHS v1 machine, saving the last client backup for each machine and using the WHS v1 machine as my backup for the WHS 2011 machine.

      That way I could always reinstall the v1 connector on a computer to retrieve a backup if needed.

  27. I view the WHS V1 vs. 2011 as I lose DE vs. I gain nifty Silverlight streaming in remote access.

    I gotta say DE sucked in V1. It sounds good in concept, but a dog in reality. After I added a 400GB music collection it went bezerk. It would run 40 minutes out of every hour, sucking cpu and the drive light was on solid. I found someone who posted scripts to stop and disable the service (and enable and start), so I only let it run between 2am and 6am. I experimented with turning off duplication on all folders and took the 2nd drive out of the drive pool and it still ran bezerk. Which i odd since nothing needs to be duplicated and there is only one drive so nothing to balance. With that much activity I can see why people complained it made their video streaming stutter.

  28. With 2011 I plan to use windows' mirroring capabilities. upgrade a disk to dynamic and mirror the partition between two drives. This is pretty simple. Since WHS data is probably more reading than writing it should not be a problem. Too bad they didn't put media center onto WHS2011 then it can be the HTC and the server. But I always hated Media Center also… too damn slow when you have a large media collection. Quicker to browse the folders with Windows Explorer and use Media Player.

    I also installed the Desktop Experience feature and am experimenting using the machine as an actual desktop as well. Just trying to be green and reduce the number of machines powered on in the house. With a 10 client limit I don't know the base product wasn't Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate (same client limit), could have media center, and just add in the home server services.

    For offsite data protection I think I will try Carbonite to back up critical data files, photos, and home video. Since I have all that organized onto the WHS I only need to pay for one computer. Movies and music I'll periodically copy to an external USB drive for added protection.

  29. I upgraded my Ex495 last night after dumping my data to an external e-sata drive. Now that the system is reloaded it appears that I need a driver (SiI3531) to get the e-sata interface to work again. I've seen references to the manufacturer site for the driver but it appears that they pulled it a few days ago stating that they do not support end-users 🙁 Can someone PLEASE help so I don't have to re-rip all 400 of my movies back to the server again?
    Thanks in advance!

  30. With me I am sticking with WHS version 1 mainly because it works for me. I would probably put together a basic PC, with 64bit, for the new version and then just implement it. There are some files I have that are unique to my server, because I just simply stored them there while thinking that I will need them someday. Probably in the next year I will build that machine, but for now version one does what I want it to do. I don't use it for streaming music or videos, and my setup is purely for back up and every now and then remote access for me.

  31. In your discussion of loading WHS 2011 you didn't comment on something I am very interested in. In version 1 you were limited to a system segment of 20GB. If you wanted something larger you had to jump through hopes to get it.

    Does WHS 2011 allow you to set the system size or does it take all of the drive? ?What??

  32. I’m just trying to figure out. I have the HP Windows Home server. Is it possible to upgrade thatt to server11?  If so, do I have to copy all the data on there now before doing so?  What would you recommend?

    Thanks Mark

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